Sunday, August 22, 2010

Quality Umpire Gear For Cheap

You want the best umpire gear? Well, the best costs. Many wannabe umpires are overwhelmed by the initial cost of new gear. However, somewhere between the best umpire gear and gear that is sub-par (or potentially dangerous) is a category of gear that is both affordable and acceptable.

Wilson not only makes some of the best umpire equipment available, it also makes a terrific low price mask with deer skin pads for around $50. The Wilson Dyna-Lite Umpire Mask is a 10” mask made of hollow core steel. Its weight with leather pads is 1.5 pounds. This mask comes with comfortable doe skin padding on the inside and tough vinyl on the outside. The Dyna Lite is tough, good-looking, and comfortable. It is available through CAT Sports for $54.95.

Chest Protector
The Champion Hard Shell Chest Protector is another under $50 bargain. The Champion compares favorably to the top of the line Wilson Platinum and Gold chest protectors that sell for three times the price. It is comfortable and is suitable for lower level games through high school. Amazon offers the Champion Hard Shell Chest Protector in 13”, 15”, and 17” lengths starting at $48.99 with free shipping. Midwest Ump review of the Champion CP is here.

Leg Guards
While many of my umpire brothers prefer larger leg guards, I prefer the look of a low profile leg guard like the Diamond DLG-UMP. I recommend and fully endorse the 15” version of this leg guard, but cannot recommend the 17” model as there is a gap below the knee. The Diamond 15” DLG UMP 150 leg guards are sold by Baseball Rampage for $29.99. Midwest Ump review of the Diamond DLG-UMP leg guards is here.

I wore New Balance MU450MK plate shoes for two years and loved them. They are comfortable and supportive. Better than the Reebok Field Magistrate II? Well, no, but then you can’t buy the Field Magistrates for this outstanding price: New Balance MU450MK for $79.56 after applying a 20% discount code (“SCHOOL”) from and receive free shipping!

Shirt/Pants/Hat Combo Pack
I am not a big fan of combo packs, but Gerry Davis offers a discount combination package that makes sense. The Gerry Davis Combo Pack #6 includes a Signature Series Shirt, Davis Umpire Pants, and a Richardson Wool Fitted Hat for $71.90. A new umpire who purchases the charcoal combo pants and 6 stitch hat will have a good-looking uniform suitable for lower-level base and plate work. Midwest Ump reviews of the pants and shirt can be found here and here.

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